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HELP!!!! I'm at a loss on what to do with our pup. He's 4 months old. When he chews on things like the couch; we move him away and he just keeps going back. How do we get him to stop doing that. And he likes to bite at our hands and we try to stop him and push him off and it just keeps him coming for more. I don't know if he thinks this is playing or what. But the biting just persists. Then at night when it's bed time; we usually put him on the bed with us before he goes in his crate and he runs around and when I try to grab him to get him to sit still he tries to growl and bark at me. I grab him anyway; but then he tries to bite. I don't know what to do about this. It's so frustrating; we don't know what the positive discipline is and I don't want to use physical discipline. Does anybody have any tips or advice?
 

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What chewy toys/treats etc do you have available to him? Does he follow basic commands like sit and down?

My pup is 3.5 months and when she gets a little too exuberant I either say sit or down, then praise and move on. SHe has a large selection of chew items, she loves them. She very very rarely nips now, though she likes to mouth me (as in she puts her mouth on me but never closes her jaws to which she gets lots of praise). Having lots of options of your pup's favorite chews to give an an appropriate item will help stop the couch chewing etc.

As for biting you, it sounds like he is trying to engage you in play. You need to show an appropriate form of play. SO tug with a rope toy, or start teaching fetch with a ball in the livingroom, or a training session etc.

When my pup gets super excited to play we usually have an active play time (tug, or with a ball etc), followed by a HUGE belly rub to calm her back down and into a short training session. She becomes a huge lap dog by the end just content to snuggle up and get cuddles after all that.

As to the growling nonsense on the bed. Don't put him on the bed, put him straight into his crate. That in between stage is not working for him or you. Create a new routine for bed time, Active play, belly rubs, shorting training, cuddles, potty break, into crate for example
 

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1. Chewing
When he chews on something you don't want him chewing on simply distract him. Say "oh no!" or clap your hands or do something to distract him. Then, pull out a fun toy and run it along the ground and encourage him to chase it. When he chews on something you need to redirect him and give him something you DO want him to chew on. If you can't watch him enough to do that then he needs to be put in an expen or crate with something to do so he doesn't get reinforced for chewing on the sofa. Make sense? It takes a lot of patience and time though. If it gets to the point where he fixates on something so much then you can resort to using a chewing deterrent like "Bitter Apple" spray. It has a horrible taste so you would just spray a little bit on something you don't want him chewing. BUT, for some dogs this does nothing and it doesn't teach Tank what he is allowed to chew on.

2. Biting
Read "The Bite Stops Here"
You need to show him that biting on mom or dad means fun's over! If teeth touch your skin then fun ends. If teeth touch you then you stand up, look at the ceiling, cross your arms, and stand there. If he continues biting at your ankles then leave the room (if it's safe to leave him in the room at the time). Another trick is to hook his leash to his collar and then tie the end of the leash to a heavy object. Play with him as you would then if teeth touch you, get up and walk away for a minute or two. Be patient. It can take a long time for the message to get through but it will eventually!

3. Bed
Don't grab him. Growling is a way of the dog telling you to "back off". Even for a puppy you want to respect that. Instead of grabbing him (kind of rude and alarming to dogs anyway) have you tried luring him with a treat? Get something so he can get on/off the bed himself with. If you want him off the bed, use a treat to coax him down. If he refuses then simply don't allow him on the bed. At least, until you teach him an "off" command maybe when he is a little older.
 

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Thank you so much. I appreciate all the pointers. Tank is a great dog most of the time. He's probably the smartest breed I've ever owned. It just gets so frustrating when he is always wanting to bite the things he shouldn't be. Including us. hahaha. It's just going to take time and definitely a lot of patience.
 

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Thank you so much. I appreciate all the pointers. Tank is a great dog most of the time. He's probably the smartest breed I've ever owned. It just gets so frustrating when he is always wanting to bite the things he shouldn't be. Including us. hahaha. It's just going to take time and definitely a lot of patience.

This reminds me of the whole, "the reason puppies are cute is so that we don't strangle them" idea :laugh:

Also, at ~4 months he may be teething. People find that wetting and freezing an old dishrag (one he can have) can help alleviate some of the pain associated with that. Keep an eye on him with it though, you don't want him trying to swallow it. Not sure if this is true for your guy but it might help if that is the problem.
 

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Thank you so much. I appreciate all the pointers. Tank is a great dog most of the time. He's probably the smartest breed I've ever owned. It just gets so frustrating when he is always wanting to bite the things he shouldn't be. Including us. hahaha. It's just going to take time and definitely a lot of patience.
Smart dogs are a blessing and a curse. It's fun to be able to teach a dog 200 words, including colors and the names of people and toys, but smart dogs bore easily and need lots of mental stimulation. When they don't get it, they make their own, usually in the form of destroying your stuff.

In addition to the great advice already given, I'd suggest more mental exercise in Tank's day. Lots of short training sessions, feeding from toys instead of a bowl, and puzzle toys. As he gets older, you may want to investigate tracking, agility, obedience, something for you and Tank to do to engage his mind, even if you just do it in your back yard.

Good luck!
 

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For the crate, what worked best for my puppy was to teach her to "go to bed". That way you don't need to physically force him in there, but he'll go in willingly. This falls into place with crate training generally, where he should be okay going in and staying in his crate.

Before starting this exercise, choose a place that you want his crate to be. If you keep changing the location his den, he may have a harder time recognizing it as his 'room', and you may have to repeat this exercise in each different location the crate is placed (my dog generalized it pretty well, but I live in a small condo).
1. Sit next to the crate, and toss a treat inside. When you dog goes in to get the treat, click when all four paws are in the crate, then give him another tasty treat. Repeat 10x until he's automatically going into the crate thinking he's going to get a treat.
2. Once he starts going in automatically, add in the cue word right before you know he's going to go in. Say "Crate!" or "Go to Bed!" or "Goodnight!" and when all four paws are inside the crate, click and treat. Repeat until he's getting this 9/10 times.
3. Once he's good at this, increase the distance, sit a foot away from the crate. Say the cue word, and if he doesn't go in, toss the treat in and when all four paws are in the crate, click and treat! Repeat 10-20 times.
4. Increases distance to a few feet away (repeat step 3).
5. Once he's reliably going inside the crate, ask him to lie down as well, before he gets the treat. So, he goes in, put him in a down position either through luring or if he knows the command ask him to lie down, and once he does, treat. Repeat repeat repeat. Now, he only gets the treat if he a) goes in the crate b) lies down in it.
6. Close the door for one second once he's inside. Click if he's quiet in the crate, then let him out. Repeat with increasingly longer intervals, always letting him out when he's quiet and never paying attention to him if he whines or barks.

Hope this helps!
 

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Luna is now 10 weeks and she's already careful with her biting habits and - apart from one or two things - has not bitten anything but her chew toys. When she tries to bite the couch or the wooden chair legs I say "hey" to get her attention, and try to make her come to me. Sitting on my haunches usually helps... and give her the chew toy I have for her. Get her something nice 'n tough, like dried animal skin products or a bully stick, anything that takes a while to consume. I also have a pulling rope (with the knots in it, yes, I have many chew toys to prevent these things! :D ) and I distract her with that, too. It helps to re-direct the puppy in this way.

Say something like 'good boy' when he takes the chew toy. Also with biting, there are many approaches here. My dog listens very well to a stern "hey" and I stop playing, I've also made it a game for her to grab her chew toy and when I say "los" ("release" in dutch) she lets it go and I give her a kibble. That game helps for when he's biting too hard, and if he's intelligent he'll catch on soon that when you say "los" or whatever you'll be saying he needs to let go. Also read the stickies :D good luck!

Oh and when I use the "los" command I don't hold onto the toy... this may confuse the dog as it (in dog language) means you are playing with him. When dogs want something from one another they usually get it by standing over the other dog and waiting, especially the 'alfa' dog will do that, and it works for me as well. :)
 

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HELP!!!! I'm at a loss on what to do with our pup. He's 4 months old. When he chews on things like the couch; we move him away and he just keeps going back. How do we get him to stop doing that.

IMO, the best way to deal with this is to PREVENT him from even getting to the couch for the purpose of chewing to begin with. Of course, this means that you have to have your eyes 100% on him, when he's out roaming, and if you see him even heading in the direction of the couch, interrupt him, and distract him by getting him to play with a toy, or asking for a command he knows, or playing a quick game with him.
Be consistent with this, because you are, in part stopping him from chewing on the couch, but in part replacing the behavior of chewing on the couch with another behavior. If you take away the option of chewing on the couch by preventing him from doing it, soon he will probably forget all about it.


And he likes to bite at our hands and we try to stop him and push him off and it just keeps him coming for more. I don't know if he thinks this is playing or what. But the biting just persists.

Yes, he thinks it's a game. Puppies play, in part, by biting/nipping, it's totally normal. When you use your hands to push or move him, he sees it as an invitation to play. I really recommend the sticky "The Bite Stops Here." Basically, the theory is you make a noise (loud enough to startle or interrupt the puppy). If he bites again immediately, you make the noise again, and then leave the room so he can't follow. The noise lets him know you didn't like it, and leaving the room lets him know contact with you ends if he doesn't respond to you telling him (the noise). But, you have to do this EVERY time he bites/nips, or he will not get the message.

Then at night when it's bed time; we usually put him on the bed with us before he goes in his crate and he runs around and when I try to grab him to get him to sit still he tries to growl and bark at me. I grab him anyway; but then he tries to bite. I don't know what to do about this. It's so frustrating; we don't know what the positive discipline is and I don't want to use physical discipline. Does anybody have any tips or advice?
With bedtime, I'd go with putting him straight in the crate. I would also teach a command for getting off the bed, and for getting into the crate. Most dogs/puppies don't like being picked up. If they're small, it can be pretty scary being up high, and, in any case, it can be frightening if the dog is afraid of what's going to happen next. This may be partly why he growls when you pick him up. Or, he is "guarding" the bed because he likes being up there.
 
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